The specter of post-communism

Women and alcohol in eight post-Soviet states

Brian Hintoe, William Cockerham, Pamela Ann Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Because men have borne the heaviest burden of premature mortality in the former Soviet Union, women have for the most part been overlooked in studies of the health crisis in this part of the world. A considerable body of research points to alcohol consumption among males as a primary lifestyle cause of premature mortality. However, the extent to which alcohol use has penetrated the female population following the collapse of communism and how this consumption is associated with other social factors is less well-understood. Accordingly, this paper investigates alcohol consumption in eight republics of the former USSR – Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine using data collected in 2001. More specifically, discussion of gender role transformations and the historical experiences of women during the Soviet era emphasize two potentially important social influences examined in this analysis: psychological distress and Soviet political ideology. Findings suggest that distress is only weakly statistically associated with frequent drinking behavior among women, but results for political ideology show that this factor is statistically and significantly associated with drinking behaviors. Alcohol consumption was not particularly common among women under communism, but trends have been changing. Our discussion suggests that, after the collapse of the Soviet state, women are more able to embrace behavioral practices related to alcohol, and many may do so as an overt rejection of traditional Soviet norms and values. Findings are also discussed within the context of current epidemiological trends and future research directions in these eight republics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1262
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Volume68
Issue number7
Early online date21 Feb 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

Fingerprint

Communism
communism
alcohol
Alcohols
alcohol consumption
Alcohol Drinking
Drinking Behavior
Premature Mortality
political ideology
USSR
republic
mortality
Kyrgyzstan
Moldova
Armenia
Republic of Belarus
Kazakhstan
Ukraine
Russia
trend

Keywords

  • Russia
  • Former Soviet Union
  • health lifestyles
  • alcohol consumption
  • women gender
  • gender

Cite this

The specter of post-communism : Women and alcohol in eight post-Soviet states. / Hintoe, Brian ; Cockerham, William ; Abbott, Pamela Ann.

In: Social Science & Medicine, Vol. 68, No. 7, 04.2009, p. 1254-1262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hintoe, Brian ; Cockerham, William ; Abbott, Pamela Ann. / The specter of post-communism : Women and alcohol in eight post-Soviet states. In: Social Science & Medicine. 2009 ; Vol. 68, No. 7. pp. 1254-1262.
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